November 25, 2019

Falling in love with London, Ontario: a list of things to do

In an effort to get to know and love my town a bit more, a few weeks ago, I asked people on Twitter what I should do in London, Ontario over the next year to really fall in love with the city.

The responses came fast and often; I’ve collected, cleaned up, sorted, and presented them all below. I plan to spend a chunk of 2020 doing most—if not all—of these things and reflecting upon how they change my view of the city and the way I interact with the place where I live.


  • Play the Hickory 9 at Thames Valley Golf Course
  • Spend time at and around Boler Mountain, which has become a real community hub for more than just skiing
  • Bike (or walk!) along the Thames Valley Parkway in all directions, particularly when the trees are changing colour or when there is a spring or summer bloom of wildflowers
  • Play catch (frisbee, baseball, football, etc.) in Springbank Park
  • Afternoon swim at Thames Park Pool
  • Hike around Fanshawe Lake, or canoe or row in the lake itself
  • Cross the Blackfriars bridge on a rainy evening when the street lamps glow along the river
  • Take a winter hike in one of our protected ESAs like Westminster Ponds
  • Spend time at a friendly community garden and chat with the gardeners
  • Go to an event at the Wood St. Food Forest
  • Explore the Sifton Bog
  • Walk in the forest behind Huron College
  • Spend a whole day by the Thames River
  • Stroll through Gibbons Park
  • Visit the Kinsmen Maple Sugar Bush
  • Go public skating at the Lambeth arena
  • Go for a hike in Kains Woods
  • Get lost in urban forests: Westminster Ponds, Sifton Bog, Medway Forest
  • Hike Dingman Creek Cons Area


  • Go to a London Knights game
  • Go to a London Lightning game
  • Go to a London Majors game
  • Go to a Western Mustangs game
  • See a horse race at Western Fair


  • See a show at the Grand Theatre
  • See a show at Aeolian Hall
  • See a concert at London Music Hall
  • Visit Eldon House and have afternoon tea on the lawn
  • Explore Museum London
  • Check out SunFest in the summer
  • Attend Home County Festival
  • Check out Banting House
  • Catch a screening at the Mustang Drive-In
  • Catch an indie show at Call the Office
  • See a horse show at a nearby horse farm
  • See Rick McGhie at the Grad Club
  • Check out an art show opening or theatre performance at TAP

Supporting Local

  • Shop or walk slow laps at the Western Fair
  • Go to a night market
  • Explore the shops and restaurants of Wortley Village
  • Visit the really big Value Village on Oxford
  • Shop at Heroes Comics
  • Check out the Old East Village Grocer
  • Punk Rock Flea Market at Call the Office
  • Visit Trail’s End market
  • Check out Pillar Nonprofit Network to learn about the incredible work being done in our community and connect with a cause that matters to you
  • Visit the Flower Lady in Lambeth
  • Find treasures at Kid Cents and The Antique Collector in Lambeth
  • Go antiquing at Memory Lane


  • Write a letter while sitting at any London Library branch
  • Attend a London Youth Advisory Council meeting
  • Attend a free event that you discover on a bulletin board
  • Spend an evening on Wes Kinghorn’s porch in Woodfield
  • See the holiday lights in Victoria Park — and if possible, see them from City Hall’s observation deck
  • Read in Central Library’s Rotary Reading Garden
  • Gathering on the Green in Wortley Village
  • Participate in 1 Book 1 London events
  • Take part in kid friendly events like the Booseum” and the egg hunt at Apple Land Station
  • Check out as many branches of the London Public Library as possible
  • Wander around Western University campus before all the leaves fall—and check out all the campus libraries
  • Explore the city’s oldest areas: Ridout, Queens Ave, Wortley
  • Explore the city’s historical buildings: Eldon House, Banting House, Grosvenor Lodge, Roundhouse
  • Take a slow bike ride with the Old East Village riding group
  • Experience Harvest Fest in Lambeth
  • Spend an afternoon learning about history at The London Room at London Public Library
  • Participate in an architecture walking tour

Food & Drink

  • Spend a morning reading a book at Edgar and Joe’s
  • Have a cup of tea at the Tea Haus
  • Eat breakfast at The Bag Lady
  • Have a beer on The Ceeps patio
  • Tour the Labatt brewery and visit all the local craft breweries
  • Grab a late-night eat at Prince Albert’s Diner
  • Have a meal at the Morrissey House
  • Eat butter chicken at Massey’s
  • Eat some sushi at Miso
  • Pick up cheese bagels at La Noisette
  • Brunch at the Early Bird
  • Eat from a food truck during one of the summer festivals in Victoria Park
  • Donuts at Plant Matter Kitchen
  • Grab treats at Spicers or Sticks and Scones in Lambeth
  • Snack on wonton nachos at Union Pub in Lambeth
  • Eat dim sum at Tak Sun
  • Indulge at RibFest